Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden (L) with former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck during Gruden’s QB Camp in 2012. (Tim Casey/ESPN Images)
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For top college quarterbacks moving onto the National Football League, visiting Jon Gruden’s QB Camp has become an annual rite of spring.
The Monday Night Football analyst and Super Bowl-winning coach personally prepares detailed lesson plans for every player.
Last year, Gruden mentored Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill and others, arguably the most successful class of rookie quarterbacks in NFL history.
He helped prep each of them for the jump to the NFL.
(To the delight of fans, Gruden also introduced “Spider 2 Y Banana” into the lexicon.)
Gruden’s QB Camp series presented by Corona Extra is back for a fourth year this spring, beginning Thursday, April 4 at 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2) and continuing throughout the month with segments on SportsCenter and NFL studio shows across multiple ESPN networks.
Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden with former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck during Gruden’s QB Camp in 2012. (Tim Casey/ESPN Images)
The SportsCenter specials will offer a first-hand look at some of this year’s top prospects leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft, which ESPN will again televise April 25-27. continue reading…
Rookie QB Russell Wilson has rewarded Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll’s faith in him. (Credit: Ric Tapia/iCoN sMi/CorBis/ESPN The Magazine)
Every year since 1998, ESPN The Magazine has recognized an elite group of emerging athletes to watch in the year ahead — athletes dubbed “NEXT.” They are competitors not only on the cusp of stardom, but on the verge of transcending their sports. Some of these athletes who fit this description include four young NFL quarterbacks who already have made significant impacts on their respective teams: Russell Wilson (Seattle), Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco), Andrew Luck (Indianapolis), and Robert Griffin III (Washington).
Front Row spoke with The Mag’s Senior NFL Writer Seth Wickersham, who explores this subject at length in “Pass or Fail,” in ESPN The Magazine’s “NEXT” issue — featuring 20-year-old NBA star Kyrie Irving on the cover — currently on newsstands, and also on ESPN.com.
NEXT Issue cover
How did you approach this story on the rise of the NEXT generation of QBs?
Like most, it arose from observing, reporting, and thinking about football, and two dominant themes emerged. First, it’s become obvious that teams need a great, not almost great, quarterback to win a Super Bowl. The past 10 years is all the proof you need. And second, this season, more than any other in years, coaches seemed not only willing but perhaps eager to roll the dice on young quarterbacks rather than experience a Groundhog Day of sorts with good-but-not-great starters, betting on the high ceiling as opposed to the high floor. That’s why many young quarterbacks were starting.
This has become the Year of the Young Quarterback. But as with Tom Brady in 2001 and Aaron Rodgers in 2008, behind every young quarterback is a coach who had the guts to not only start him but support him through the inevitable bumpy patches. I respected the risks that [Seahawks coach] Pete Carroll and [49ers coach] Jim Harbaugh. . .took in backing their young quarterbacks, so I decided to highlight the decision, as opposed to exclusively focusing on why the young quarterbacks are playing well.
NEW YORK — On the eve of the 2012 NFL Draft this week, ESPN The Magazine held its ninth annual pre-Draft event at The Waterfront on Manhattan’s west side.
The private event featured top draft picks Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Justin Blackmon and Trent Richardson, among others. Also in attendance were both current and former NFL players including Calvin Johnson, Jason Pierre-Paul, Victor Cruz and fellow (NY Giants) Justin Tuck, Mike Boley and Jake Ballard.
Music was provided by DJ Kiss.
Also featured was The Mag‘s social studio, sponsored by Fiat and hosted by ESPN talent Marcellus Wiley, Charissa Thompson and Michael Smith. continue reading…
Round One of the 2012 NFL Draft is in the books but you haven’t completed your assigned reading until you check out Front Row’s Storify treatment of what went down at Radio City Music Hall. continue reading…
Two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Parcells often says of NFL team executives and the NFL Draft: “We can only draft what the colleges send us.”
Such limitations never seemed to hinder Parcells, who, in more than three decades in professional football, built a reputation as a specialist at rebuilding previously underperforming teams.
On ESPN, Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET, the legendary coach will share his secrets, philosophies and inside knowledge on how the NFL Draft works in a one-hour SportsCenter Special: Bill Parcells’ Draft Confidential.
With host Monday Night Football’s Mike Tirico, Bill Parcells’ NFL Draft Confidential pulls back the curtain to reveal the dynamics of an NFL Draft room. It also explores how the game’s decision-makers come to the point where they are ready to invest in a prospect.
In the program, Parcells takes an in-depth look at the last 10 NFL Drafts and shares his unconventional thoughts on drafting Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin as Nos. 1 and 2 picks, respectively, and why drafting a quarterback in the first round is a risky call. continue reading…
The players appear on top of skyscrapers with neon and flashing lights as the backdrop. Images of the lights, the expectant Draft prospects and the song Bright Lights, Bigger City by singer-songwriter Cee Lo Green, combine to capture the essence of the Draft on ESPN. continue reading…
In the video above, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III discusses NCAA women’s basketball’s most dominant player, Brittney Griner, on his visit to Gruden’s QB Camp.
RGIII’s episode will air on ESPN on Monday, April 2 at 9 p.m.
In an NCAA Women’s Final Four semifinal, Griner will lead her undefeated Bears against the Stanford Cardinal on Sunday, April 1 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.
* Do you think you know where the top quarterbacks in the NFL draft will end up? Want to know who your team might be interested in selecting? Gruden’s QB Camp dissects 10 of the top QB’s in the country to give us all some more insight on the minds and skills of the next wave of signal callers. continue reading…
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In today’s Front & Center podcast, ESPN vice president of production Jay Rothman discusses the third season of Gruden’s QB Camp.
The inside-the-film room series highlights Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden’s one-on-one sessions with top prospects in advance of the NFL Draft. Ten quarterbacks are part of the series this year, including Stanford’s Andrew Luck, the projected No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft.
The video above offers a preview of Luck’s QB Camp special, which debuts Friday, March 30, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. (The complete QB Camp schedule.)
In the podcast, Rothman discusses the relentless work of many ESPN production staffers that goes on behind the scenes to get the shows ready for air.
He talks about the set-up at Gruden’s office — affectionately dubbed the F.F.C.A, or Fired Football Coaches Association, this year’s class of prospects and what to expect with the Luck show this week, among other topics.